ePub 版

In the Table Talk he is reported to have said, "The metaphysical disquisition at the end of the volume of the Biographia Literaria is unformed and immature;—it contains the fragments of the truth, but it is not fully thought out. It is wonderful to myself to think how infinitely more profound my views now are, and yet how much clearer they are withal. The circle is completing; the idea is coming round to, and to be, the common sense." VI. p. 520.

Some little insight into the progress of his reflections on philosophical subjects, and on the treatment of those subjects by Schelling, will perhaps be derived from his remarks on several tracts in that author's Philosophische Schriften, which I have thought it best to place at the end of the volume. -S.C.]

not metaphysically real and grounded in a duality of Essence-if the distinction is not αλλο και αλλο and not merely αλλος και αλλος—it is no such distinction as Theism affirms, and Religion must affirm, between the Creator and Creation. It would be impossible that the self-consciousness of God and that of man should be totally diverse from each other (and they must be in order to the existence of the relations and affections of Religion) if the spiritual essence which underlies each, when traced to its lowest metaphysical ground, is one and identically the same.

We are aware of the alleged difficulty of accounting for a knowledge of the objective, on the hypothesis that there is no identity of substance between it and the subjective intelligence, and of the confidence with which it is assumed that the mystery of knowing vanishes as soon as it is shown that all consciousness is in reality self-consciousness. How the problem will ultimately be solved, and how much Coleridge and Schelling have contributed towards the true solution, remains to be seen. But it seems to us very plain that neither of these minds ultimately rested in the doctrine of Identity as the means of arriving at the true theory of perception. At any rate, all such teaching of Coleridge as that the moral Reason is the highest form of Reason, and that no merely speculative decisions can set aside those of Conscience, are in the very vein and spirit of the Critical philosophy, and a protest against a theory which obliterates all the fixed lines and immutable distinctions of Theism. Such teaching could not have come from a mind included in the slowly-evolving and blindly-groping processes of the philosophy of Identity.-Am. Ed.]



"ESEMPLASTIC. The word is not in Johnson, nor have I met with it elsewhere." Neither have I! I constructed it myself from the Greek words, eiç ev nháttsiv, to shape into one ;* because, having to convey a new sense, I thought that a new term would both aid the recollection of my meaning, and prevent its being confounded with the usual import of the word, imagination. "But this is pedantry!" Not necessarily so, I hope. If I am not misinformed, pedantry consists in the use of words unsuitable to the time, place, and company. The language of the market would be in the schools as pedantic, though it might not be reprobated by that name, as the language of the schools in the market. The mere man of the world, who insists that no other terms but such as occur in common conversation should be em ployed in a scientific disquisition, and with no greater precision, is as truly a pedant as the man of letters, who either over-rating the acquirements of his auditors, or misled by his own familiarity with technical or scholastic terms, converses at the wine-table with his mind fixed on his museum or laboratory; even though the latter pedant instead of desiring his wife to make the tea should bid her add to the quant. suff. of thea Sinensis the oxyde

* [Ist das Band die lebendige In-Eins-Bildung des Einen mit dem Vielen. If the bond is the living formation-into-one of the one with the many. Darlegung, pp. 61-2. Schelling also talks of the absolute, perfect In-Eins-Bildung of the Real and Ideal, toward the end of his Vorlesungem über die Methode des Academischen Studium-p. 313.—S. C.]

of hydrogen saturated with caloric. To use the colloquial (and in truth somewhat vulgar) metaphor, if the pedant of the cloister, and the pedant of the lobby, both smell equally of the shop, yet the odor from the Russian binding of good old authentic-looking folios and quartos is less annoying than the steams from the tavern or bagnio. Nay, though the pedantry of the scholar should betray a little ostentation, yet a well-conditioned mind would more easily, methinks, tolerate the fox brush of learned vanity, than the sans culotterie of a contemptuous ignorance, that assumes a merit from mutilation in the self-consoling sneer at the pompous incumbrance of tails.

The first lesson of philosophic discipline is to wean the student's attention from the degrees of things, which alone form the vocabulary of common life, and to direct it to the kind abstracted from degree. Thus the chemical student is taught not to be startled at the disquisitions on the heat in ice, or on latent and fixible light. In such discourse the instructor has no other alternative than either to use old words with new meanings (the plan adopted by Darwin in his Zoonomia ;)* or to introduce new terms, after the example of Linnæus, and the framers of the present chemical nomenclature. The latter mode is evidently preferable, were it only that the former demands a twofold exertion of thought in one and the same act. For the reader, or hearer, is required not only to learn and bear in mind the new definition; but to unlearn, and keep out of his view, the old and habitual meaning; a far more difficult and perplexing task, and for which the mere semblance of eschewing pedantry seems to me an inadequate compensation. Where, indeed, it is in our power to recall an appropriate term that had without sufficient reason become obsolete, it is doubtless a less evil to restore than to coin anew. Thus to express in one word all that appertains to the perception, considered as passive and merely recipient, I have adopted from our elder classics the word sensuous; because sensual is not at present used, except in a bad sense, or at least as a moral distinction; while sensitive and sensible would each convey a different meaning. Thus too I have followed Hooker, Sanderson, Milton and others, in designating the immediateness of any act

* [Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia, or Laws of Organic Life was published Lond. 1794-6, 2 vols. 4to. There was another edition in 4 vols. 8vo. in 1801.-S. C.]


[ocr errors]

or object of knowledge by the word intuition, used sometimes subjectively, sometimes objectively, even as we use the word, thought; now as the thought, or act of thinking, and now as a thought, or the object of our reflection; and we do this without confusion or obscurity. The very words, objective and subjective, of such constant recurrence in the schools of yore, I have ventured to re-introduce, because I could not so briefly or conveniently by any more familiar terms distinguish the percipere from the percipi. Lastly, I have cautiously discriminated the terms, the reason, and the understanding, encouraged and confirmed by the authority of our genuine divines and philosophers, before the Revolution.

both life, and sense,

Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive or intuitive: discourse*

Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, in kind the same.†

I say, that I was confirmed by authority so venerable: for I had previous and higher motives in my own conviction of the importance, nay, of the necessity of the distinction, as both an indispensable condition and a vital part of all sound speculation in metaphysics, ethical or theological. To establish this distinction was one main object of The Friend ;‡ if even in a biography of my own literary life I can with propriety refer to a work, which was printed rather than published, or so published that it had been well for the unfortunate author, if it had remained in manuscript. I have even at this time bitter cause for remembering that, which a number of my subscribers have but a trifling motive for forgetting. This effusion might have been spared; but I would fain flatter myself, that the reader will be less austere

But for sundry notes on Shakspeare, and other pieces which have fallen in my way, I should have deemed it unnecessary to observe, that discourse here, or elsewhere does not mean what we now call discoursing; but the discursion of the mind, the processes of generalization and subsumption, of deduction and conclusion. Thus, Philosophy has hitherto been discursive; while Geometry is always and essentially intuitive.

+ [Paradise Lost. Book v. l. 485.—S. C.]

[Mr. Coleridge here refers to The Friend as it first came out in the North of England, in 1809-10. See the Biog. Supplement at the end of this volume.-S. C.]


than an oriental professor of the bastinado, who during an attempt to extort per argumentum baculinum a full confession from a culprit, interrupted his outcry of pain by reminding him, that it was a mere digression!" "All this noise, Sir! is nothing to the point, and no sort of answer to my questions!" "Ah! but," replied the sufferer, "it is the most pertinent reply in nature to your blows."

An imprudent man of common goodness of heart can not but wish to turn even his imprudences to the benefit of others, as far as this is possible. If therefore any one of the readers of this semi-narrative should be preparing or intending a periodical work, I warn him, in the first place, against trusting in the number of names on his subscription-list. For he can not be certain that the names were put down by sufficient authority; or, should that be ascertained, it still remains to be known, whether they were not extorted by some over-zealous friend's importunity; whether the subscriber had not yielded his name, merely from want of courage to answer, no; and with the intention of dropping the work as soon as possible. One gentleman procured me nearly a hundred names for THE FRIEND, and not only took frequent opportunities to remind me of his success in his canvass, but labored to impress my mind with the sense of the obligation, I was under to the subscribers; for (as he very pertinently admonished me), "fifty-two shillings a year was a large sum to be bestowed on one individual, where there were so many objects of charity with strong claims to the assistance of the benevolent." Of these hundred patrons ninety threw up the publication before the fourth number, without any notice; though it was well known to them, that in consequence of the distance, and the slowness and irregularity of the conveyance, I was compelled to lay in a stock of stamped paper for at least eight weeks beforehand; each sheet of which stood me in five-pence previously to its arrival at my printer's; though the subscription money was not to be received till the twenty-first week after the commencement of the work; and lastly, though it was in nine cases out of ten impracticable for me to receive the money for two or three numbers without paying an equal sum for the postage.

In confirmation of my first caveat, I will select one fact among many. On my list of subscribers, among a considerable number of names equally flattering, was that of an Earl of Cork, with

« 上一頁繼續 »